From student-athlete to coach: Stubbs becomes head coach of UJ dance, cheer teams

From student-athlete to coach: Stubbs becomes head coach of UJ dance, cheer teams

Fri, 02 Mar 2018

Ashley Stubbs is new to the University of Jamestown athletic department this academic year. Coming from a junior college in Sacramento, Calif., Stubbs transferred to UJ for the track and field program.

After interning under UJ Athletic Director Sean Johnson, she earned a position as coach of the new dance and cheer teams.

Stubbs has a background with experience in dance and cheer. When Stubbs was a child she wanted to be in dance. However, after about seven years of practicing tap, ballet and jazz, the studio where she took lessons at closed, which led to her mother putting her in cheerleading instead.

Stubbs said she fell in love with cheerleading and stayed in it for 14 years, gaining experience in pop warner, high school, all star, competitive and charity teams.
When Stubbs was older, she came to UJ mid-year as a track and field recruit. During her time as a student here, she took an internship under Johnson until she earned her associates degree in sport medicine and a Bachelor of Science in exercise science with a minor in coaching.

While she was interning under Johnson, Stubbs helped him pave the way for the development of the dance and cheer teams in an attempt to attract more female athletes to the university. When looking for a coach, Johnson encouraged her to apply for the position. Stubbs earned the position, graduated in December and began her new career the following month.

Other coaches and staff at UJ have been very supportive of her as a new coach, which has been a change that was made easier by her previous presence as a student-athlete at the university. She attributes this support to how well her first year as a coach is going. She has built a team that she described as “hard working, determined, positive, humble and humorous.”

The new coach has a lot going on in her life right now but still manages to succeed at all of them. She is currently coaching two college sports, director of the Foss Wellness Center, gymnastics coach for young girls, and a graduate student earning her master’s in athletic administration with a dual focus on high school and college coaching.

Stubbs sees coaching as a long-term endeavor. When asked how long she sees herself as a coach, she said that she would be “80 years old in a walker coaching cheerleaders.” As for her projected time in Jamestown, she said that it is her goal to turn the dance and cheer teams into successful programs and has no intention of leaving before this happens. After that she said that she “might be here forever or might move on.”